Climate change is a defining issue of our time. Combating climate change compels us to improve energy efficiency, increase the deployment of low-carbon generating technologies, and reduce the carbon footprint of our transportation system.

As an avid hiker and someone who lives and works by the shores of Lake Champlain, I know the importance of protecting Vermont’s lands and waters. Vermont’s economy, whether it’s agriculture, skiing, or tourism, depends on it.

The threats to Vermont’s natural landscape are real—climate change, water quality degradation, and sprawl.

We need to continue to improve building efficiency and weatherization programs for low-income residents. Energy efficiency provides local jobs, reduces energy bills, and helps the state meet its energy goals. Chittenden County is ground zero for energy efficiency as the home base of both Efficiency Vermont and the Burlington Electric Department, the two entities appointed to deliver efficiency services in the state.

We need to embrace low-carbon distributed, renewable energy deployment and clean energy innovations, including energy storage, microgrid, and smart-meter technology. Vermont has over 18,900 clean energy jobs–over 6% of Vermont’s workforce–many of which are located in Chittenden County. I want to continue to grow Vermont’s clean-energy economy by cultivating business ingenuity and opportunity and incorporating energy services curriculum and vocational training in our high schools and colleges.

We should support a robust and resilient public transportation system and put in place policies to lower our state’s dependence on dirty transportation fuels. The transportation sector remains the largest contributor to Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions. We need to build out our electric vehicle infrastructure and encourage the use of electric vehicles. We need to promote bicycling and ensure that our roadways have safe biking and walking corridors. And we need to make sure buses and public transportation options are widely available to Chittenden County residents.